Vladimir PutinWho Is Vladimir Putin?In 1999, Russian president Boris Yeltsin dismissed his prime minister and promoted former KGBofficer Vladimir Putin in his place. In December 1999, Yeltsin resigned, appointing Putin president, and he was re-elected in 2004. In April 2005, he made a historic visit to Israel—the first visit there by any Kremlin leader. Putin could not run for the presidency again in 2008, but was appointed prime minister by his successor, Dmitry Medvedev. Putin was re-elected to the presidency in March 2012 and later won a fourth term. In 2014, he was reportedly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.Early Political CareerVladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, on October 7,1952. He grew up with his family in a communal apartment, attending the local grammar and high schools, where he developed an interest in sports. After graduating from Leningrad State University with a law degree in 1975, Putin began his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer. Stationed mainly in East Germany, he held that position until 1990, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.Upon returning to Russia, Putin held an administrative position at the University of Leningrad, and after the fall of communism in 1991 became an adviser to liberal politician Anatoly Sobchak.When Sobchak was elected mayor of Leningrad later that year, Putin became his head of externalrelations, and by 1994, Putin had become Sobchak's first deputy mayor.After Sobchak's defeat in 1996, Putin resigned his post and moved to Moscow. There, in 1998, Putin was appointed deputy head of management under Boris Yeltsin's presidential
administration. In that position, he was in charge of the Kremlin's relations with the regional governments.Shortly afterward, Putin was appointed head of the Federal Security Service, an arm of the former KGB, as well as head of Yeltsin's Security Council. In August 1999, Yeltsin dismissed hisprime minister, Sergey Stapashin, along with his cabinet, and promoted Putin in his place.President of Russia: 1st and 2nd TermsIn December 1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned as president of Russia and appointed Putin acting president until official elections were held, and in March 2000, Putin was elected to his first termwith 53 percent of the vote. Promising both political and economic reforms, Putin set about restructuring the government and launching criminal investigations into the business dealings of high-profile Russian citizens. He also continued Russia's military campaign in Chechnya.n September 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States, Putin announced Russia's support for the United States in its anti-terror campaign. However, when the United States' "war on terror" shifted focus to the ousting of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Putin joined German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and French President Jacques Chiracin opposition of the plan.